AVANT-GARDE AND ARTISTS’ FILMS
IN BRITAIN 1968 TO 1972
On General Release will comprise of six programmes of avant-garde film, made, or shown in Britain, by artists and filmmakers between 1968 and 1972. This exhibition is conceived as an education in the origins of avant-garde film in Britain. 1968 to 1972 has been identified as the period in which film started to be made in art schools by emerging artists but before the explosion of artists’ films in the course of the 1970s. The thematic programmes cover Performance, Art Schools, The Gallery and Documentary and include those international filmmakers and artists whose works were shown in Britain and became part of the idea of avant-garde film.

The ambition of the filmmakers is structured into the form of the project through the idea of “On General Release” involving simultaneous showings at galleries across the country. Film enabled artists to adopt the distribution systems of commercial media. The choice to make this project with galleries, rather than cinemas, reflects the critique by artist filmmakers of the use of cinemas in the period 1968 to 1972. It reflected a positioning by the filmmakers of their identity as close to that of visual artists. Artists who made film also made the work with the expectation of showing it in galleries.

The programmes bring together artists and filmmakers from Fluxus, Structuralist and Conceptual practices in the way that was possible at that time.

As the exhibition will consider the foundation on which subsequent practice was built, international work shown in the UK is included where the artist or filmmaker spent time in this country and entered a dialogue with British artists.

ANDREW LOGAN ANNABEL NICHOLSON ANTHONY MCCALL BARRY FLANAGAN BERWICK STREET FILM COLLECTIVE BOB LAW BRUCE CONNOR BRUCE LACEY BRUCE MCLEAN CAROLEE SCHNEEMANN CHRIS WELSBY DARCY LANGE DAVID ASKEVOLD DAVID CROSSWAITE DAVID DYE DAVID HALL DAVID LAMELAS DAVID TREMLETT DEREK JARMAN ESTHER RONAY FRED DRUMMOND GILBERT & GEORGE GILL EATHERLEY IAN BREAKWELL JACK SMITH JAMES SCOTT JAN DIBBETS JEFF KEEN JOHN BALDESSARI JOHN BLAKE JOHN DU CANE JOHN HILLIARD JOHN LATHAM KEITH ARNATT KENNETH ANGER KEN MCMULLEN AND JOSEPH BEUYS KURT KREN LAWRENCE WEINER LIZ RHODES MALCOLM LE GRICE MARC CHAIMOWICZ MARCEL BROODTHAERS MARGARET TAIT MARK BOYLE MARY KELLY MICHAEL SNOW MIKE DUNFORD MIKE LEGGETT PAUL BOTHAM PETER WATKINS PETER WHITEHEAD RAY BARRIE RICHARD LONG ROGER ACKLING ROGER HAMMOND SALLY POTTER SANDY DALEY STEVE DOWSKIN STORM DE HIRSCH TINA KEANE TONY HILL WILLIAM RABAN